Central spikers down Bears 15-1, 15-2 | PostIndependent.com
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Central spikers down Bears 15-1, 15-2

Phil Sandoval

GRAND JUNCTION – After taking its second-straight 2-0 loss, Rifle’s volleyball team is currently running like a car missing a sparkplug – all the parts are in place, but it takes a while to get going.

“This team’s got incredible talent,” said Rifle coach Victoria Di Gugilielmo after Tuesday’s 15-1, 15-5 non-league loss to Class 5A Grand Junction Central. “The problem is how to get all the parts working at the same time.”

And with the Class 4A Western Slope League-opener Thursday, the Bears have little time to waste.

“We never got started,” Di Gugilielmo said of the team’s first game woes.

Staci Vogel, Central’s outside hitter, did most of the damage.

The 5-foot, 9-inch senior, aided by Sarah Welch’s sets, racked up eight of her game-high 10 kills in game one.

The Warriors jumped to a 7-0 lead before A.J. Connelly’s kill for a sideout led to Rifle’s lone point a play later.

Embarrassed by the poor start, the Bears pulled themselves together in the second game.

Two Central unforced errors gave Rifle a 2-0 lead, but the advantage was short-lived.

Once the Warriors regained serve after the second point, they never allowed Rifle another chance to make the game competitive.

Two service aces by Vogel were the key plays in Central’s 9-point scoring run that effectively secured the match for the Warriors.

The Bears were outscored 6-3 in the latter part of game two, but might have found it’s missing part.

Outside hitter Montanah Mathies had a strong run in the match’s final points. The 5-10 Rifle sophomore had a couple of nice blocks for sideouts before Central wrapped up the contest.

After two unsuccessful tries against Class 5A opponents, Rifle (0-2) gets its first shot against a 4A rival Thursday night against Western Slope League foe Palisade at home.


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